Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Somewhere on two wheels!!
My KTM 950 Story....lots of pics!
Well I’ve been hanging around here for a while now trying to decide what adventure bike to buy. After deciding to get a KTM 950 Adventure about three months ago I went down my local dealer and ordered one, a new 2006 Adventure S and it was going to be there in a week....oh, then another week, then another week and so on. Nothing they could do it was the factory not delivering and all dealers were in the same boat (I called loads to try and get one!). So in the mean time I looked around for used ones. Eventually found an ‘S’ pop up, Steverino’s 2004 'S'…..nice ! Needless to say I snapped it up in the first half hour of the add been placed . I actually tried to buy the bike a few months ago but Steve beat me to it ;o), ah well second time lucky!
The bike was in West Vaginia but Steve rode it all the way to Texas and delivered it…..what a top guy .
I've been riding bikes since the age of 11 and raced Enduro and Supermoto in the UK over the past seven years. I also built racing engines for many top UK racers until I moved to Texas. I got a new job in Texas USA and that’s where I am living at the moment. As a result of my relocation, it was time to abolish the rush and stress of the racing environment and do some adventure riding. I intend to be in Texas for a couple of years and see as much of the USA as I can while I am here……on two wheels .
Here is my new ride, the day Steve dropped it off.
And its always good to have a mileage record, this way I know if I'm getting my use out of it or not!
I know.....the dash needs a bit of a tidy up!
Anyway, Day 1: First Ride Report:
Well, I took the bike out for its first run the other day and noticed a few things that I really wanted to get bottomed. I am an engineer and like everything to be just right. Here is what I found:
Day 2: Let the tear down begin!
Started going over the bike with a fine tooth colm and found the following:
Found Touratech Zega's come in really handy for propping the bike up to remoce the suspension etc!!
First thing I noticed was the air filter had been trapped in the seal so the airbox wasn’t sealed correctly, and it was on the clean side . Easy fixed with a new filter and some care and attention on assembly.
The SAS had been removed, well literally hacked out and where the pipe fitting is on the clean side of the airbox the bung they had used to plug the hole was split which lets nice dirty air into my engine…..nice ! Fortunatley the airbox was clean so maybe this only split recently, who knows?
Next at the other end of the SAS at the cylinder head where the reed valves are they had also plugged them but the hose was split. Yes, you got it, nice dirty air being sucked into the engine . This explains the popping and farting so I have ordered some blanking plates so I can remove the reed valved and blank the heads properly.
Came to remove the carbs and the front carb was not even clamped on so fuel had been slattering into the airbox. This may also explain some popping back when you rev it stationary. Easy fix……fit the carbs properly next time!
Got the suspension out so I can get that on its way. The front forks were jerky and horrible, lots of friction. Also, the neoprene boots that are supposed to keep dirt out were badly damaged, needless to say they are in the bin now.
I have ordered a set of new wheels so these will be going on the Flea market in about two months. That’s the lead time on the wheels but they will be worth it, just wait and see.
Measured the front rotors up and only one side is warped. It is also more warn than the other so my bet is that the bike has been used with one disc at some time. New rotors will sort that.
Got the engine and cleaned it all off. Also checked the frame for cracks in the usual places on these things….none, which is nice. An indication that the bike has predominantly been used on the street.
Sump guard was cracked, which I already knew about so I ordered a Touratech one, who knows how long that will take to arrive.
Exhausts were pretty grafted with baked mud so removed them to scotchbrite them up and make them easier to keep on top of.
Drained engine oil, it was realy nice and the screens were reasonably clean so that was good.
Removed spark plugs and they were shot. 12000 miles on the originals and the electrodes were pretty warn, and you could drive a bus through the gaps……new sparkies on the way.
Eye eye….whats this then! A little bit of seepage from the water jacket but the TSB has been done so I will just keep my beads on this one as it does not seem to use any water. It really is a tiny amount and only exagerated by the dust on the head and cylinder.
Now for the valve clearances. Well the inlets were pretty good but the exhaust valves were diabolical. The front cylinder clearances were 0.35 and the rears 0.325 which probably explains the shewing noise which I suspected was valve train related in way of large clearances.
- The suspension was a bag of poop, in real need of a good rebuild. Also, since I intend to do some serious off-road, I am going to have the suspension put back to its original "tall" height. Somebody bought an ‘S’ and had it lowered….hmmmmmm!
- The seat was diabolical, Renazco to the rescue I think!
- Steering all over on high speed off-road and sand, need to sort a damper out, emig racing maybe?
- A problem somewhere with the inlet tract or the SAS. Terrible popping on decel and the bike has supposedly had the SAS removed, will look in to that one.
- Terrible start up noise but I already know that it is the delay in oil pressure build up, so nothing to be done about that one. Read the TSB on that one!
- Engine has a shewing noise to it, usually an indication of the valve clearances being too large, so I will check them out.
- Front brakes warped, going to order some floaters…..wavey ones too while I am at it!
- Front brake calipers sticking, probably due to neglect so I will rebuild those.
- Found that Pirelli Scorps are crap off-road!
- Front brake lines are not routed very well with the front high fender kit so will make some new braided hoses up and route them neatly.
- Oil change and check screens, for my own peace of mind.
- Dyno and set air-fuel up correctly, seems very close but always good to check.
- Final thing I found was the fact that I had made the right choice in choosing a 950 adventure. I loved riding it, it just kept putting a smile on my face over an over. Once I get the bike to the standard I like, it will be awesome. Day 1 over, watch this space.
Front Cylinder: Rear Cylinder:
Camshafts and valve train look to be in reasonable condition, a few scorings but I understand this is common on the earlier bikes. I will check the cam clearance on assembly with the plasti-shim.
I'm guessing the steering bearings and swing arm bearing need greasing. It's one of those jobs that 95% of the people who ride bikes never do but since the bike is in bits, now is the time to do it. Running out of time today though so that’s tomorrows job!
I also found out that these things are not built to be worked on easily are they. Best of all, when you remove the screen in the oil tank oil goes all over the wiring.....well I guess it will stop it corroding!
That’s it for today, need to go and order lots of things to get this puppy sorted out. Gonna take a couple of weeks but I cannot wait till its all done, it will be a different bike for sure.
Other than the above the bike is great, everything just needs a good old clean and seeing to and it will be A1. Steverino certainly cut me a good deal and I would have stripped a new bike down in exactly the same way and gone right through it, greasing it and preparing it properly. I enjoy working on my bikes and getting them into tip-top shape, keep watching, more to follow soon but going out for a beer now!!!!
Day 3: More sweat!
Ordered a Touratech bashplate and some Emig Tripple clamps with stabilizer today, now I have no money left….again!
Took my suspension to Curtis at Cycle Town South in Lancaster. They are doing the rebuild, putting it back to its original height with new seals etc.
Cleaned up the exhaust headers, they only took me an hour! Wow, that mud was really baked on there. They look much better now though and I inspected them whilst I was at it…….no damage or cracks…great stuff.
Got the valve shims today and got them in, and got the engine timed up again, clearances all within specification now
Cleaned the SAS ports out in the cylinder heads and fitted the blanking plates with a small amount of sealant. How much tidier do they look in conparison to the botch that was there before!?
Stripped the front calipers down...they were reallt grafted with dirt and brake dust. One whole can of brake cleaner and another hour later, hey presto, free as a bird. Fully copper greased up a ready to roll.
Hmmmmm….tired my hardest to remove the swing-arm bolt but the sucker has not been out for a long long time! It has corroded in the middle where it sits between the engine bushes such that it will not fit through the bearing inner on the swinging arm. I tried and tried for an hour and got it to move about two inches! After hitting my thumb twice with the hammer and = so I decided to wiat until tomorrow and borrow a bigger hammer off somebody so I could get a bit more force behind it. Failing that I'll have to drill it out !
That’s it for tonight, swing arm bolt has ground me down….going for a beer or ten cheers!
Done lots of tonight and first time in posting pictures so hopefully it has got me some good training for when I post all of my ride reports!
Hope I did'nt bore you too much up to know. I will post more in the near future as the bike nears completion.